Homily for Friday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time Year II
Theme: Ephphata: Be Opened
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Friday February 14 2020
(Read 1st Kings 11:29-32, 12:19, Psalm 81 and Mark 7:31-37)
“And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly” (Mark 7:33-35).
Whenever we celebrate Infant Baptism, there is an aspect of the rite where the priest (or deacon) touches the ears and the lips of the child saying: “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak, may he so touch your ears to hear the word and your lips to proclaim the Faith.”
Today’s Gospel passage gives us the origin of this practice. Jesus had come into the region of Tyre and they brought to him a man who was deaf and dumb. Unlike other recorded healing episodes, this time around, Jesus actually performed a Sacrament; he used outward signs (matter; visible objects) and inward grace (form; words). In this way, Jesus instituted the Sacraments.
It is interesting to note that the opening of this man’s ears and mouth brought about an immediate proclamation of the Gospel by the man who was cured and all those who witnessed the miracle. “And Jesus charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” (Mark 7:36).
Here comes the irony of life: Jesus charged them to say nothing about the miracle but they zealously proclaimed it. Today, Jesus wants us to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world but we are quiet. Of course, during his earthly life Jesus did not want cheap popularity, but upon ascending to heaven, He said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15). Silence about Jesus, refusal to proclaim God’s word is to be deaf and dumb spiritually. Let us ask God to open our ears and mouths today.
In our first reading, God foretells the future division of the kingdom of Israel through the prophet Ahijah. Every sin we commit has consequences. God always gives us opportunities for repentance, but when we fail to change our ways, we literally choose the punishment that our sins attract. God warned Solomon but he remained adamant. The kingdom would now be divided and the greater part taken away.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, open my ears and mouths that I may shamelessly proclaim you wherever I go. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. It is well with You. (Friday of the 5th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1st Kings 11:29-32, 12:19, Psalm 81 and Mark 7:31-37).